FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday August 2, 2004

GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR APPOINTS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF THE NEW MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY

(Jackson, Miss.) - Governor Haley Barbour today named Mrs. Tommye Dale Favre, of Gautier, Executive Director of the new Mississippi Department of Employment Security. As a former human resources and job training specialist with Mississippi Power Company, Favre will take the reigns of what was formerly known as the Mississippi Employment Security Commission. The name and structure of the 600 person agency was changed July 1 as a result of new legislation. As part of the Workforce Development Act of 2004 - the largest overhaul of workforce training efforts in state history - the agency was moved under the Governor's authority and the name was changed.

"Workforce development is one of the keys to job creation, and Tommye Dale has vast experience in corporate training and educational programs," said Governor Barbour. "She will lead our efforts in building a stronger workforce for Mississippi."

During her 16 years at Mississippi Power Company, Favre was a Human Resources Supervisor, Plant Manager, and Senior Training Analyst. She received a Masters of Science in Public Relations, University of Southern Mississippi (1985); a Masters of Education, University of Southern Mississippi (1983); and a Bachelor of Arts, University of Mississippi (1973). Mrs. Favre is also a member of the American Society of Training and Development, the 1999 Class of Leadership Jackson County, an appointee to the Mississippi Power Education Foundation, Inc., and trains volunteers for the United Way of South Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is the lead state agency in implementing legislation Governor Barbour helped pass last legislative session - the Mississippi Comprehensive Workforce Training and Education Consolidation Act of 2004. It merges the State Workforce Development Council, which oversees state workforce dollars, with the State Workforce Investment Board, which oversees federal workforce dollars. The new State Workforce Investment Board will coordinate both
state and federal workforce dollars.

The legislation gives more of the franchise in workforce development and training to community colleges, which have a proven record of performance in workforce training. In the past, federal workforce dollars in Mississippi went to one of six workforce-training areas in the State. The legislation merges these into four, to be run by respective workforce training boards, and creates incentives for the boards to contract workforce training with community and junior colleges.

The legislation also encourages private job training. It triples and reforms the amount of the job training tax credit, to encourage businesses to provide workforce-training activities to their employees.

Jim Lott, formerly Director of the Employment Training Division for the Mississippi Development Authority, has served as interim director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security over the last month.
Governor Haley Barbour announced that Lott will continue as deputy director. "Jim has a wealth of knowledge in this area and played a key role in creating our workforce legislation. I am pleased he will continue his workforce development efforts for Mississippi," said Governor Barbour.

Governor Barbour and Mrs. Tommye Dale Favre also unveiled the agency's new logo at the announcement.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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